My iPod arrived today – wo0t!! It took me a while to figure out the touchpad controls, and I’m still trying to find out how to turn the damm thing off to save the battery. But I can now have music whenever I want it.
Which won’t be all the time, or even most of the time – I’m rather too fond of silence for that.

…Sara Maitland’s The Book of Silence – an autobiographical essay on her search for, and meditations on, silence. I can agree with much of what she writes – of how silence should be regarded a presence, not an absence, for instance; and her joy at living alone and reasonably secure is well expressed, and makes me want to experience it.
I can’t agree with her on everything. She writes about her discipline of keeping her house silent – no TV, no radio, no sound on her computer, having days each week when everything is switched off and she speaks to no one – and I although I can well imagine never speaking, I cannot imagine living without music. The other day, I got an email telling me I’ve won an iPod in a draw; I’m impatient for it to arrive, so that I can load it up with all the tracks i have on my ‘puter so that i can listen to them anywhere in the house. Right now, I’m rocking along with Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen blasting This Land Is Your Land through my headphones. Music makes me happy – I will not do without it.

But the book is dammed good – go read it.

….especially for Leonard Cohen. Unbelievably, I’d never heard his song Hallelujah before today.
It was bought to my attention because there is a campaign to make the Jeff Buckley version the Christmas no 1, instead of the newly-released version by some manufactured reality-show popster. I’ve listened to the Buckley version (and the versions by kd lang, John Cale and Sheryl Crowe); I still think the original is the best, but I’ve done my bit for the “Buckley for no. 1” campaign by flinging my 79p at Itunes * (where it’s currently seventh on the download charts).
Listening to it now – as ever, I am awed by how some people can create great and beautiful art…..

*Just been to the Facebook group that’s leading the campaign and discovered they don’t want anybody buying it until tomorrow (the 15th), because that’s when the Beeb starts counting downloads for the Christmas week list. Oh well, I’ll just download it again – that’s a few more pennies for the Buckley estate.

For me, the big event of the day was an exact astrological opposition between Uranus and Saturn. So I’ve avoided getting involved in any celestial pile-ups by spending my time at the pooter, struggling to get to grips with Joomla. My long-awaited Building Websites With Joomla 1.5 arrived last week, but I was too busy before to make a start on it.
It’s translated from the German, not altogether perfectly. So there are some awkwardnesses and strange phraseology – “barrier freedom” in particular puzzled me, until I worked out that it was what the Germans call Web Accessibility. But overall, it looks like a very good buy, and I’m now busy getting the Oakleaf Circle website converted to Joomla.

Oh, yes, and there’s some sort of election going on, I think…

Think I’ll have a listen to some Einstuerzende Neubauten – gloomy Germanic post-industrial rock seems to fit my mood a lot lately (I blame Saturn).